Vacuum Forming

  1. #1

    Vacuum Forming

    I'm putting together a vacuum forming table with a buddy.
    We've got a 6.25HP Shop Vac, so that should suck pretty good!

    We're planning to make the one seen at StudioCreations, but I still need some practical input from you guys. Has anyone in here made one? If yes, please share your knowledge on what to do and what not to do, measurements and any other info like pics perhaps?

    Thanks boys & gals!


  2. #2

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    Here's the table I just built...

    Most people use an oven but I wanted it to be all
    one unit. I used two large hotplates that I bought
    at Sears. They reach 400+ degrees. You need at least
    that much heat to soften up the plastic. Also, if you
    go with my kind of need to make the heat
    canopy completely enclosed. If you let any heat escape
    the plastic won't get hot enough.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    Very sexy!

    What is the size of plastic you can form?
    And what do you usually use to make the moulds?


  4. #4

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    My table can fit up to an 18 inch square
    plastic sheet. It can work on up to .100 gauge
    styrene or .085 to .090 ABS.

    I've used clay pots so far (still in the testing
    fases), but I plan on using lots of Ultracal 30
    based molds or carved wood.

  5. #5

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    Cool, so what do you think is the best plastic to use? I'm planning to make some gauntlets and maybe other things.

    Do you have any pics of your test forms?

  6. #6

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    My goal this summer is to make one of these baby's, me & a friend are doing the same thing We are in the middle of planning the whole Vacc table out - so I'll just soak up as much info from this topic as possible

  7. #7

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    The advice I have received tends to lean towards
    using HIPS (High Impact Poly Styrene) for most all
    Fett costume parts. Use ABS for things like Stormtrooper
    or Clonetrooper armor since it is more durable and
    less likely to crack and split due to lots of wear
    and stress on joints & such.

  8. #8
    bobagoat's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2002
    downsampling you

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    nice table dude! it looks really great.

    i just finished a cheapo table to get some stuff rollin.

    also check your pm's man. i dropped you a question about the hot plates.

  9. #9

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    malcfett wrote:

    I plan on using lots of Ultracal 30
    based molds or carved wood.

    May I suggest Hydra-Stone... just that much stronger and little to no price difference

  10. #10

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    Hrm, so Hydra-Stone is good for vac moulds?

  11. #11

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    Hydra-stone...I think I'll give it a try.
    The Ultracal molds I've been toying with
    have a tendancy to crumble a little bit
    every time I use it.

    Do you have a name of a distributer of that
    Hydra-stone stuff?

  12. #12
    batninja's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2003
    Fort Worth, TX

    Re: Vacuum Forming

    I've never used Hydra-Stone (will have to try that), but we found that Fix-It-All works well, too. Although it takes a few days to dry good enough to sand, it dries hard as concrete and costs about $6 for a 25 lb bag. Get it at Home Depot, used for repairing holes in walls and such, green and yellow bag.

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